Company Blames Quirky Testing, Dutch Supplier for Horse in Hamburgers
Founder says cost cutting was not to blame
Larry Goodman, whose company made international headlines when its "all-beef" burgers were found to contain horsemeat, blames the scandal on tabloid sensationalism, a Dutch meat supplier, and overly picky DNA tests.
"We are talking about DNA testing and DNA will pick up molecules and something in the air," Goodman said to the Financial Times. "I would not be surprised if there was not cross-contamination of various species if one were to do DNA testing."
A Tesco Everyday Value Burger made at the Silvercrest plant, which is a subsidiary of Goodman's ABC Foods, was found to be 29 percent horsemeat. The Silvercrest plant, a supplier to Tesco and Burger King, has been temporarily shut down after a second series of tests uncovered more horse-laced burgers at the plant.
According to the Telegraph, Goodman denies that cost cutting at his company was responsible and suggested that the horsemeat came from a burger filler product sourced from a supplier in Europe. The horsemeat is suspected to have originated in Argentina or Brazil, made its way to Holland, and somehow wound up as unlabeled filler in several supermarket hamburgers in the U.K.
But Goodman maintains that there is no health risk to eating horsemeat and the issue is purely psychological.
"People are psychologically concerned about the sort of animal they are eating and rightly so. Kids see [horses] as pets," he said.
The horse-enhanced hamburgers have been withdrawn from supermarkets, and some will be burned as fuel.